SJC Bans Police Stops Solely for Suspected MJ
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('SJC Bans Police Stops Solely for Suspected MJ');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

SJC Bans Police Stops Solely for Suspected MJ
Posted by CN Staff on September 23, 2015 at 10:43:21 PT
By Travis Andersen and John R. Ellement 
Source: Boston Globe
Massachusetts -- In a decision hailed by civil rights advocates and supporters of marijuana legalization, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday that police cannot stop motorists solely because they suspect the vehicle’s occupants are in possession of the drug.The Supreme Judicial Court based its 5-2 ruling largely on a measure that voters approved in 2008 that reduced possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil violation punishable by a fine.
“Permitting police to stop a vehicle based on reasonable suspicion that an occupant possesses marijuana does not serve [the] objectives” of the law change, Justice Margot Botsford wrote for the majority.Botsford wrote that allowing such stops “does not refocus police efforts on pursuing more serious crime,” another goal of changing the law.The ruling does not prevent police from issuing citations for marijuana possession if they stop a driver for a traffic infraction, such as speeding, and later notice marijuana in plain view inside the vehicle.Botsford’s opinion was welcomed by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts, a group pushing for a 2016 ballot question that would legalize marijuana for adult recreational use.Jim Borghesani, a spokesman for the campaign, said in a statement that the ruling “provides further clarification for how police officers should handle vehicle stops in the era of decriminalization, and it advances the clear message sent by voters in 2008 to refocus police activity on more serious crimes.”Matthew Segal, legal director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, echoed that view, saying that with the vote to decriminalize marijuana in 2008, residents of the Commonwealth were making a statement “about how the police ought to spend their time and the taxpayers’ money.”Pulling over a car on suspicion of marijuana possession, he said, is “not consistent with the Massachusetts constitution, nor is it consistent with the will of the voters who passed decriminalization.”David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said in a statement that troopers are not primarily concerned about a vehicle occupant who possesses an ounce or less of marijuana. He said troopers usually make observations of marijuana use after stopping a car for other reasons, such as traffic infractions.“What does concern us about marijuana, even amounts less than an ounce . . . is whether the operator has used it and is thus driving while impaired,” Procopio said. “The voters decriminalized possession of less than an ounce. That does not mean that using less than an ounce means you are OK to drive . . . and this ruling will have no impact on the observations we use to establish probable cause for drugged driving or our determination that a driver should be charged as such.”Botsford’s opinion followed SJC rulings in 2011 and last year finding that the odor of burned marijuana alone does not provide grounds for police to order occupants to exit a car, and that the smell of burned or unburned marijuana does not justify searching a vehicle without a warrant.John L. Calcagni III, a lawyer for Elivette Rodriguez, the defendant at the center of Tuesday’s ruling, noted that the prior opinions dealt with exit orders and searches of vehicles, and he said Tuesday’s decision “closed the loop” in finding that police cannot even stop a car based on suspicion of marijuana possession.“That is something that they had not yet done,” Calcagni said.Rodriguez was a passenger in a vehicle that New Bedford police stopped in 2012 after allegedly detecting an odor of marijuana coming from the passing automobile.The police vehicle and the suspect car both had their windows down at the time, and police on a prior occasion had arrested an occupant of the same vehicle for heroin possession.During the stop involving Rodriguez, police found a bag containing 60 Percocet pills inside the vehicle, and Rodriguez was charged with possessing a Class B substance with intent to distribute and other crimes, Botsford wrote.The court’s majority ruled Tuesday that the pills were inadmissable in court, because the initial stop was not justified. The SJC referred the case to the district court for “further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office declined to comment, except to say they will no longer pursue their case against Rodriguez, in light of the ruling.Bristol prosecutors who argued the Rodriguez case before the SJC asserted that police can stop vehicles for a civil marijuana offense, just as they can for a civil traffic offense.The court rejected that argument, finding that traffic laws promote road safety, but there “is no obvious and direct link” between issuing civil citations for marijuana possession and maintaining highway safety.Justice Robert Cordy, in a dissenting opinion, expressed a different view, writing that even if not all civil marijuana violations affect highway safety, infractions “occurring in motor vehicles do implicate concerns regarding traffic and automobile safety.”He argued that “there is no constitutionally based reason to distinguish” motor vehicle stops for civil marijuana violations from stops for traffic infractions.Source: Boston Globe (MA)Author: Travis Andersen and John R. Ellement, Globe StaffPublished: September 22, 2015Copyright: 2015 Globe Newspaper CompanyContact: letter globe.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on September 25, 2015 at 11:32:07 PT
runruff the LEO
Runruff it's worse than that! Around here the new fad for police stations is to put a drop-box out front for people to discard their opiate pills! are you kidding me? What do you think is going to happen to those pills! can you imagine.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by runruff on September 25, 2015 at 06:59:21 PT
I am a cop!
I take the drugs and keep the cash I confiscate. I drink too much off duty. I aduse my third wife as I abused my first two wives. I don't pay child support and the judge is a friend of mine so I get away with it. I get free sex from whores and young women who do not want to go to jail.I like to exercise my ideologies by abusing people who are lesser than myself. I can't wait to pop a cap on some scumbag and when I am fighting with one of my wives I take my anger out on people I don't like on the streets. I see myself as a comic book hero.I am a cop!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Universer on September 23, 2015 at 22:02:51 PT
VT's AG says VT will regulate MJ in next session
SORRELL PREDICTS LEGISLATURE WILL LEGALIZE MARIJUANA IN 2016 for all caps, but it pasted that way and I'm too lazy not to shout. Well worth shouting, anyway.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by The GCW on September 23, 2015 at 20:31:25 PT
Quote, I like from Denver Post article.
You can t spell POTUS without pot. -0-The scum of the earth is (among other things) a cannabis prohibitionists.-Someone who will cage You, Your child or neighbor for using a plant.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on September 23, 2015 at 12:20:15 PT
our Supreme Court kicks butt! This is the 4th ruling expanding our civil rights around MJ and cars. at this point, you can drive by police with smoke streaming out the windows and they can't stop you! They also lost the right to mess with people in stopped cars that are smoking MJ.this is the same Surpeme Court that first passed gay marriage in '04. Come to Mass. and blaze up everyone! 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by observer on September 23, 2015 at 11:36:43 PT
no constitutionally based reason
re: He argued that “there is no constitutionally based reason to distinguish” motor vehicle stops for civil marijuana violations from stops for traffic infractions.Yes. Lying government hirelings (redundant) will certainly lie and cook up some other lying excuse. They teach this technique extensively. It is called "the pretext stop". ("Pretext" is a euphemism for lie; this is what government does.) Police academies across the fruited plain, from sea to shining sea, all across America, teach their students (your police) to lie. of course government will cook up some other lie (pretext). Government officials lie like you and I breathe air. Government people lie instinctively, reflexively. They lie without effort, and with little thought. Cooking up some acceptable "pretext" (cover story = lie) is what they do. It is the specialty of government. It is the overriding concern (to effectively lie) of every government "public relations" expert. The term "public relations" itself was cooked up to deflect from the term "propaganda" which was, as Bernays admitted, was getting a "bad name". People were linking "propaganda" with "lies". No problem, call it "PR", or give it a .mil acro PSYWAR. When people associate "PR" and "PSYWAR" with "lies", no problem again. Just call it "MISO" and now it sounds like a bland breakfast soup - until people link MISO with "lies" and then another name will be used.Pretext? A government lie.Cover story? A government lie.Plausible deniability? A government lie.Security Clearance? A government lie.Sensitive Compartmented Information? A government lie.
Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. -- George Orwell 
And Orwell was an optimist.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Universer on September 23, 2015 at 11:16:54 PT
OT:Vid: Rlty Chk: MJ Didn't Kill Fiorina's Daughte
Whoever this Ben Swann guy is on wherever CBS 46 is, bravo. Brafuqqinvo. video is #MustWatch for anyone in your life who needs a primer on cannabis.Carly Fiorina needs this primer upside her head. Figuratively."...marijuana - which we really should be calling 'cannabis' - is safer..."Instant mancrush. Ladies?(Sorry if repost.)
Are Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina hypocrites for their views on marijuana?
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment